In our last post we taught you how to carry out effective competitor research. We’ll take that a step further in this blog, sharing eight of our top competitor research tools that will give you even more detailed insight into your rivals’ strengths and weaknesses.
Spyfu allows you to see your competitors’ most profitable keywords and ads for paid and organic search. The tool lets you do this for any domain, looking at the last 11 years. It’s useful for both SEO and PPC research, and will help you to:
- Improve your rankings
- Outrank your competitors
- Find new profitable keywords
- Sift out those keywords that you’re wasting money on
Spyfu’s basic monthly plan starts at £23 per month, or £20 per month if billed annually. API access is also included for all SpyFu subscription plans of Professional level and above.
Alexa is an Amazon.com company that helps your business “get better marketing results”. Its Audience Overlap Tool finds sites that your audience visits, while its Competitor Keyword Matrix uncovers keywords and popular topic clusters. You can also use this tool to find untapped opportunities – gaps where your audience has an interest, but you don’t have content. Other capabilities include:
- Keyword Difficulty Tool – shows you which easy-to-rank for keywords to target first
- Competitor Backlink Checker – finds sites that links to your competitors
- Competitor Intelligence Tools – benchmarks and tracks your and your competitors’ performance
Alexa offers a seven day free trial. After that, you can either choose from its Insight plan ($49 per month) or Advanced plan ($149 per month).
SimilarWeb analyses more than 80 million websites and three million mobile apps worldwide to provide businesses with a range of market intelligence solutions which they can use to “understand, track and grow their market share”. Here are just a few things it can show you:
- How well you’re performing, compared to your competitor
- What organic and paid keywords a company is ranking for
- The ways in which a website generates its traffic
- The most popular content on competitor sites
Similar Web offers a free account, which enables you to see five results per metric, one month of mobile app data and three months of web traffic data. Its Premium package is customisable according to your business’s needs.
With over 800 million keywords, SEMrush is one of the best SEO tools on the market. Its Analytics Reports give you insights into your competitors’ display advertising, organic and paid search and link building strategies, which you can then put together into a PDF to share with colleagues and clients. One of the best functions of this tool is its ability to carry out a site audit, which flags up any issues related to crawlability, content, links and coding. This is particularly useful when used – and cross-checked -with other site audit tools including Onpage.org and Moz’s On-Page Grader (mentioned later in this article).
They company has three packages to suit all needs: Pro ($99.95 per month), Guru ($199.95 per month) and Business ($399.95 per month). Business plan users can also use SEMrush’s API to pull valuable data on competitors’ digital marketing activities without going through the pre-defined user interface. You can save even more money by taking out an annual plan, which reduces costs by up to $800.
We might be biased here but we really think our tool is great. Company Check not only provides you with data that will help you make informed decisions about who to (and who not to) do business with, but it can also be used for competitor intelligence. Its Credit Reports contain information such as: A company’s ‘credit risk score’ (how likely it is to become insolvent with 12 months), County Court judgements, director and secretary timelines and financials. Financials include cash at bank, net worth, assets and liabilities and are graphed for at-a-glance analysis.
Company Check has four membership plans, ranging from a free account to an Enterprise plan for 5 users at £500+ VAT (billed annually).
iSpionage is another digital marketing tool which gives you access to seven years worth of PPC and SEO keyword data that covers the top three search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo. The tool prides itself on giving you the advantage you need to create profitable PPC campaigns faster, with its ability to find your top AdWords competitors, the keywords they’re bidding on and their approximate monthly budget. It can also be used for SEO research, helping you to identify new keywords to target based on those your competitors are ranking for.
The company has four plans, ranging from $29 per month to $299 per month – all with a 30-day ‘risk-free guarantee’.
If you’ve ever wondered what content is doing well on your competitor’s site then wonder no more! BuzzSumo gives you the ability to do this, showing you the number of shares per content piece – and who has shared it. You can also get a content alert every time new content is published by your competitor, along with competitor comparison reports.
BuzzSumo’s cheapest deal is the Pro package, which is ideal for bloggers and small teams at $79 per month. The Enterprise plan is most suitable for brands and publishers with advanced functionality for large teams.
Moz has a whole host of useful features, ideal for business looking to improve their SEO and digital PR efforts. Two worth noting include the Open Site Explorer (OSE) and On-Page Grader. OSE is ideal if you want to discover – and exploit – the backlink profile of your competitors (it may be that you find new publications to pursue as a result), while the On-Page Grader allows you to compare any web page to a competitor page by giving you an overall ‘grade’ from A-F. You should take note of Moz’s recommended fixes if you want to improve that page’s SEO, which are broken down according to level of importance and difficulty.
Moz offers a free 30-day trial of its Medium package (after which costs $149 per month). Other plans range from $99 per month to $599.